For over eleven years our family has read one of the books in the Jotham's Journey Trilogy during Advent. These books follow a child, each on a rather incredible journey that climaxes in Bethlehem at Christ's birth. A passage is read each day. A devotional is included, though I often found my theology wasn't a "match" with the author's. We enjoyed this practice. This year as we pulled out the book, I began to realize that Stacia is old enough to realize the danger in the story, but not quite old enough to fully realize it's a MADE UP STORY and everything will be ALRIGHT IN THE END....she struggles with bad dreams. Rather than give her an exciting hook to deal with each night...."It was Decca of Meggedo, now go to bed...." through Advent we began a search for something different.
We've enjoyed having more time to linger over our Jesse Tree Devotionals and Adorenaments (which cover the names of Christ).
Christie, my partner in Children's ministry these past few months, suggested a book she found on clearance and had been reading to her 3 year old. The Advent Story Book, is a child's picture book. In this book by Antonie Schneider a young bear is eagerly waiting for Christmas. Mama bear tells him that Christmas is just "24 stories away" and each night she tells him a story about the adventures of a little bear as he follows his special star to Bethlehem. It's a cute story. It's also a bit fanciful at times. The illustrations are great. Each night's story is only a page long. Our book arrived yesterday and Stacia, Zander and Nolan sat down to read the first 15 days of the book with me. More was requested, but I informed them we'd caught up and now would have to wait for bedtime to read a page a day. ::snort:: If you are looking for something for your younger ones to enjoy with daily readings, this may fit the bill. It does NOT have devotionals....but it does have a daily thought....and we are doing other devotionals.
Samples of daily thoughts are: "faith can move mountains," "if you are ever lost in the dark, this light can lead you home," "a good deed can bring unexpected rewards,"God's love can warm and brighten the coldest, darkest night."
Visit my All Things Advent Index for more ideas, tips and reviews.
Living all of life before the face of God...